Best Hard Drive Defragger

This article will teach you about what does disk defragmentation do and will help you finding the best hard drive defragger.

You may see the disc defragging process like tidying up a room. It’s like when boxes holding similar things are combined, and all of them are tidied on a corner to create more space. Similarly, defragging is the process of tidying up fragmented files on your computer’s hard drive.

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Hard disks store data in chunks called sectors and each sector holds a fixed amount of data. Over time that data become messed up and spread all over the disk.

Disk defragmenter definition: What is a disk defrag?

HDDs start to become fragmented gradually over time as you move, save, or delete files from the disk. Then, when data is written to disk and there is not enough contiguous space to store the complete file, some portions of it will be divided over different areas of the drive.

Roughly, we can say that fragmentation occurs when a file is broken up into pieces along different areas of the disk.

In this article, you’ll learn what is a disk defrag tool and why it might be important to have one. Please read on.

The traditional HDD has a mechanical arm that moves along the surface of each hard drive’s spinning disk to reach a particular sector. When the data becomes fragmented and spread along with many sectors in different areas, your hard disk will take considerably more time to reach it and the overall system efficiency will decrease significantly.

Your computer’s performance becomes very sluggish as it needs to search in various places and move the disk’s mechanical parts dozens of times just to open a file.

The disk defragmenter meaning is what you’ve just learned.

What does disk defragmentation do

What does disk defrag do? We bet this is a common question that many of you want to be properly answered.

You want to minimize the movement of your hard disk’s internal components as much as possible, and to achieve it, you want all the data to be stored in sequential segments on the drive. That is what disk defraggers do.

Defragmenting hard drives results in moving the data blocks on it around to bring all the portions of files together and stored continuously.

It increases the efficiency of the way your computer manages data and as a result, improves the overall performance of your system. It will boot faster and you’ll notice improvements while moving or copying files as well as most apps will also load quicker.

At the same time, it cleans the storage and provides additional disk capacity by efficiently re-organizing chunks of data.

Does disk defragmenter delete files?

Disk defragmentation will not delete or threaten your data at all. What it does is relocating files on the hard drive via constant erase and rewrite.

The only way there are chances of some data loss is if the process gets interrupted unexpectedly, like your computer getting out of power in the course of defragmentation.

What is disk defragmenter

What are disk defragmenters? A disk defragmenter or a disk defragger as it’s also known is a tool designed to solve a problem that occurs in the result of the method hard disks store data.

Computers running Windows operating systems need regular defragmentation because of the way system stores data. As a result, a proprietary defragmentation tool is offered since the early days of Windows until today. It started to be included to mitigate the negative effects of a fragmented drive.

Regardless of the version of Windows you’re using, it features a consolidated disk defragmenter. That tool allows you to optimize your disk drives immediately and also lets you schedule defragmentation for later. It even lets you schedule periodic automatized defragmentations, which is a nice feature to keep your drive optimized.

Disk Defragmenter also includes an option that lets you analyze disk to check its fragmentation in percentage and will determine if your system can benefit from running the defragmentation procedure.

When to use disk defragmenter

The process of defragmenting hard drives very often is important and should be done regularly. We recommend you to set up scheduled weekly defragmentation.

What is the best hard drive defragger?

Windows defragmentation tool does what is intended and it is one of the fastest disk defragmenters. But there are other defragmentation tools from third-party manufacturers that get the job done offering more options and capabilities.

How to run defrag in Windows 10

To run the defrag for Windows 10 click the Start Menu (or press the Windows key) and type “Defrag”. Select “Defragment and Optimize Drives” from the results.

How to defrag Windows 10

Once the disk defragmentation GUI is launched, it will show you a list of logical drives (hard disks or partitions) and their current status. From there you can pick one and choose if you want to analyze it or run defragmentation by clicking “Optimize”.

You can also access “Settings” where you’re able to schedule periodic defragmentations and its frequency. And it is highly advisable that you enable the periodic optimizations to keep your hard drive top-notch. Scheduling a weekly optimization will guarantee your disk will stay under 2% of fragmentation, thus the process of defragging would be much quicker and barely noticeable.

Free third-party software for disk defragmentation

Despite Windows including a built-in defragmentation tool, there are cases where a third-party disk defragmenter and disk cleanup software may do a better job and, above all, offer other disk optimization capabilities.

Here are some of the best free third-party apps to help you optimize your disk:

Can you defrag an SSD drive?

Defragging a traditional HDD is a process you should perform regularly to keep it optimized and taking advantage of its top performance. But, do you have to defrag SSD?

In the case of SSDs, they are built in a completely different principle and are not comparable to HDDs in the way they work or the technology they use.

A solid-state drive (SSD) doesn’t have any moving parts, it doesn’t use a mechanical arm that moves along the surface of each spinning disk to reach a particular sector to read and write data. The main point of fragmented data relies on the fact that your hard drive uses moving parts to access it.

So, the spreading of data onto different parts of the SSD’s memory doesn’t have an effect in read/write performance of the disc.

But there is a stronger reason why you should avoid defragging an SSD and it has to do with its health. Defrag SSD drives will shorten their lifespan. They’re built of Nand flash memory cells that degrade every time you erase data and write new information to them and defragmenting will get those cells to prematurely die.

Defragmenting could easily erase and write hundreds of gigabytes of data in one process, which is a very fast process to degrade an SSD.

So, bear in mind performing defragmentation is not only unnecessary but can actually be detrimental to your SSD’s health and longevity.

Trying to perform a defragging using the built-in Windows defrag tool may not even be allowed for some SSDs and some later Windows versions, returning a warning message. Instead of automatically defragmenting an SSD, it uses the smart defrag SSD TRIM command, which is a proper SSD optimization.

And what about to defrag USB hard drive?

There is no benefit to defragging flash drives. They work in a similar way to SSDs and some even share the same type of memory and technology.

Flash media does not take any advantage in the defragmentation process and it will wear out the memory chips and reduce their lifetime.

Wrap Up

As we stated in this article, hard drive defragmentation is the rearrangement of data on a hard disk, which makes all the files stored contiguously and in order.

It is needed because data is constantly being moved, resized, written, and deleted and in result occurs fragmentation. That’s why it is important to know which is the best hard drive defragger and how to use it.

The process of defragmentation will speed up your disk by reducing access times and should be performed on a regular basis – at least once a month. By using defrag in Windows 10 you can and you should schedule periodic optimizations to keep your drive in tip-top conditions.

And remember that you don’t need to defrag an SSD or a USB thumb drive. Not only it is useless due to the technology of those drives and the way the data is stored, but it will also contribute to prematurely degrade the flash memory.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Disk defragmenter: how long does it take to complete the process?

It’s impossible to give an estimate as it will depend on some factors like the disk size and its fragmentation. If the disk defragmenter taking too long it may be the case your hard drive is too big and has a lot of fragmented files.

Does disk defragmenter improve performance?

Depending on how fragmented your drive is, your system performance can improve a lot by reducing unnecessary access times.

The action of the disk defragmenter before and after might be barely noticeable but it’s also possible that there are significant gains.

What is disk defragmenter function?

The disk defragmenter purpose is to tidy up your disk, rearranging the layout of files on your hard disk for faster access.

Do you need to defrag SSD drive?

An SSD doesn’t need to be defragmented. The spreading of data onto different parts of the SSD’s memory doesn’t have an effect in read/write performance of the disc.

Defrag SSD – yes or no?

No! Never defrag an SSD. Not only it won’t give you any gains in performance but you’re also degrading the flash memory, reducing the lifetime of the disc.

Can you defrag Windows 10?

Yes. Disk defragmenter for Windows 10 (also known as disk optimizer) is a built-in tool you should run often to keep your HDD in top working condition.

Where is disk defragmenter in Windows 10?

To run the defrag for Windows 10 click the Start Menu (or press the Windows key) and type “Defrag”. Select “Defragment and Optimize Drives” from the results.

How to do disk defragmentation in Windows 10

How to do a disk defrag on Windows 10 is a very common question, but it’s a fairly easy task. After opening the Windows Defragmenter, select the logical drive where you want to run defragmentation by clicking “Optimize”.

Do I need to defrag Windows 8?

Yes. Performing a disk defragmentation in Windows 8 is just as important as in Windows 10 as they both allocate data in the say way. The disk defrag in Windows 8 restores the files on your drive to smooth, unbroken data.

Where is defrag in Windows 8?

To access the defrag tool in Windows 8 go to the Start Menu and right click the Start Menu background to bring up the app Commands and select “All Apps”. Then, scroll to the “File Explorer” tile and left click on “Computer”. Right-click the hard drive that you want to optimize, and then click “Properties”. Under the “Tools” tab, chose “Optimize and defragment drive”.

How to do disk defragmentation in Windows 8?

After opening the Windows Defragmenter, just select the logical drive where you want to run defrag and click on “Optimize”.

Where is defrag in Windows 7?

To access the Windows 7 defragmentation tool click on the “Computer” icon in your Desktop. Right-click on the disk drive you want to run defragger. In the drive Properties box click the “Tools” Tab and choose “Defragment Now”.

How to defrag Windows 7?

Once you launch the defragger, just click the “Defragment Disk” button to defrag Windows 7 computer. You shouldn’t do any task on your computer while the media is being defragmented.

Do I need to run disk defrag on Mac?

No. Macs do not typically experience the kind of fragmentation that Windows PCs are prone to. Modern Macs even defrag files automatically and they’ve done this since 2002.

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